Fear and loathing on the streets of Athens
Those behind the protests in Greece are vocal about their objections to the mainstream media, in fact it seems the only people they dislike more are the police.
In the midst of the swirling smoke and explosions of the Athens street battle, I saw a woman, her eyes bulging with hatred. She was probably in her mid-forties, dressed in black, with a ring through her nose. She was screaming abuse at the riot police, who had made some arrests, and were leading the suspects away.
"This is what you call democracy, you *******!"
I asked her if she wanted to tell Al Jazeera how she felt. She looked at me with disgust.
"You are a journalist!"
This was true, so I nodded.
"****ing media, full of lies, **** off!"
I backed away.
Just round the corner, a menacing group of youths approached us. Their faces were covered in masks, and they carried rocks and sticks.
"Stop filming", they ordered, "Or you and your equipment will be damaged. Get away from here."
We beat a retreat. They had taken over the elegant neo-classical building of Athens University, and were daubing the walls with graffiti. On the roof, their colleagues were busy lowering the blue and white Greek flag, and raising the black and red flag of Anarchy.
In my career as a reporter, I've met some seriously dangerous and unpleasant people. Ill-disciplined rebel armies in Sierra Leone and Liberia, religious militias in Nigeria. I've watched them, with my own eyes, commit gruesome killings, with impunity and apparently without remorse.
But, ironically, as a foreign reporter, I was treated warmly, even courteously, by those murderous gangs in Africa.
In contrast, the anarchist and extremist groups of Athens put on plenty of menacing airs, but, with a few exceptions, shy away from serious violence. And yet, in my capacity as a journalist, I have rarely felt myself the focus of such hatred and suspicion as I have here in Athens.
To these groups, I'm part of the despised "mainstream media", a hopeless dupe of capitalist interests.
There is one category of people the Athenian anarchists hold in even greater contempt - the police.
From my reporting in Greece, I'm well aware that there are problems with the Greek police-force. They are poorly paid, and badly trained. Morale is low. Inside police stations, they commit abuses, especially against the recently arrived immigrant communities from Asia and Africa.
Of course, last December, they shot dead 15 year old Alexis Grigoropolous, under circumstances which are still unclear.
During Sunday's protests, held to mark the first anniversary of Alexis' death, pictures broadcast on Greek television show police motorcyclists riding fast through the crowds and colliding with protestors.
It's not clear if this was a deliberate tactic or not. But one thing is for sure; it will enrage those groups who are already convinced the police can do no good. The battle for control of the Athenian streets - between the police and anarchists - ebbs and flows, and sometimes there are lulls - but it has become an enduring feature of life in this city.